Traditionally man has used water for domestic needs, livestock, crop production and navigation; now he is also concerned with anesthetics, recreation, industrial production, waste disposal, power generation and aquatic ecological systems. He finds many of these uses incompatible and in conflict.
Florida is encountering similar conflicts and in many ways is typical of other humid eastern states. The situation is especially dramatic because of extreme oscillations in rainfall — torrential tropical storms to droughts lasting many months. Water management in Florida has been primarily for flood protection. More recently, the need for multi-purpose water management to increase usage benefits while decreasing potential damage from quantity extremes, has been recognized. Legislation, the Florida Water Resources Act of 1972 being foremost, has been enacted to create a governmental framework in which water problems can be addressed.